Duron vs CeleMine

UPDATE 8/2/00: A number of folks asked for a comparison to the C533A on a BX board – results follow:

I tried to run the same benches on my ABIT BX6-2 using the LeadTek GTS2 and 128 MB of HSDRAM; unfortunately, not all the benches would run – I had to use an ABIT Slotket !!! and this might be the problem. I tried to run Content Creation on my SOYO 6ABA+IV with a 600E at spec with the same results, so it could be older BX boards do not like this benchmark.

However, I got enough benchmarks to draw some conclusions:

CeleMine 533A on ABIT BX6-2
Duron 650 on ASUS A7V

Low speed – Duron 525 MHz @ 100 FSB, CeleMine 533 MHz @ 66 FSB
High Speed – Both at 800 MHz and 100 FSB.

Benchmarks

CPU/SpeedCPU/FPUMultiMediaMemory
CeleMine 5331439/7141678/2234206/232
Duron 5251466/7061788/2454445/558
CeleMine 8002162/10732522/3357313/348
Duron 8002253/11262752/3774451/558

Virtually identical results to VIA board numbers below except for the memory scores; the BX board was lower at 66 MHz (compared to VIA board with RAM @ 100 MHz) but higher at 100 MHz. Did this translate into performance gains? Check out the scores below for Winstone Content Creation, Quake and 3DMark 2000:

CPU/SpeedCont. Cr.Quake3DMark
AMD 52525.188.05266
CeleMine 533NG59.83268
AMD 80030.2112.56440
CeleMine 800NGNG5352

The CeleMine could not complete Content Creation at all and Quake @ 800 MHz.

The results are consistent with what would be expected: The crippled CeleMine just can not keep up; further, a BX board with FSBs and RAM at 66/100 MHz pulls up short of VIA boards running RAM at faster speeds. While the CeleMine closes the gap as FSBs increase, it’s still not enough.

Based on what we see here, I think you can expect CeleMines on average to lag Duron performance by at least 10-15% at 100 MHz FSB; running at spec FSBs is a joke. We will continue to explore this area.

SUMMARY 7/31/00: The Duron stretches its legs and leaves the CeleMine in the dust – Intel not only crippled the CeleMine’s performance, but probably its market share as well.

We have been anxiously waiting to try out AMD’s Duron in a comparison test against Intel’s CeleMine, and the wait was worth it; the Duron is clearly a superior performer and on a price/performance basis, a clear winner. Toms (“We are Toms, We are gods”) Hardware proclaimed the Celeron is dead, and they may be right. If I were Intel about now, I would be working in a sweat to close the self-imposed bullet wound they put in the CeleMine (100 MHz CeleMines? More cache?).

The benchmarks were run as follows:

CeleMine 533A on Iwill VD133 Pro
Duron 650 on ASUS A7V

Both systems used 128 MB PC133 HSDRAM at the highest SDRAM setting, LeadTek GeForce GTS2 and 8.4 MB WD ATA 66s. I ran the benches at two speeds:

Low speed – Duron 525 MHz @ 100 FSB, CeleMine 533 MHz @ 66 FSB
High Speed – Both at 800 MHz and 100 FSB.

Benchmarks

CPU/SpeedCPU/FPUMultiMediaMemory
CeleMine 5331444/7151681/2238231/283
Duron 5251466/7061788/2454445/558
CeleMine 8002168/10742524/3361275/325
Duron 8002253/11262752/3774451/558

Note the Memory Bandwidth scores – the Duron is an incredible 60-70% higher than the CeleMine at 800 MHz! The CPU and MultiMedia differences are less impressive (NOTE: The MultiMedia benchmarks may not be directly comparable) but noticeably higher. All in all, a solid Duron win.

Now – how well does this translate into performance differences? I ran three benches here: Winstone Content Creation, Quake 3D and 3DMark 200:

CPU/SpeedCont. Cr.Quake3DMark
AMD 52525.188.05266
CeleMine 53322.270.43734
AMD 80030.2112.56440
CeleMine 80028.4103.4NG
AMD 90030.8118.06720

The CeleMine would not run 3DMark 2000 at 800 MHz.

OUCH! The CeleMine 533 is not in the same ballpark! Note however that the disparity between the two narrows at 800 MHz; although the CeleMine lags, it made up some distance because the FSBs are both at 100 MHz.

For example, whereas the CeleMine’s Quake score was 80% of the Duron at low speed, at 800 MHz it was 92% of the Duron’s score. I would speculate that at high FSBs (133MHz+) the CeleMine might close or reverse the gap. However, the probability of a CeleMine running at that speed is nil.

I would also note that at 900 MHz, the Duron is about 10% slower in Quake 3 than my PIII 600E running at 800 MHz on the Iwill VD133. considering the Duron’s price, this is incredible performance for the money. I will do some additional comparisons to the PIII shortly.

The conclusion is pretty clear – right now the Duron is THE price/performance winner by a large margin, and until Intel revamps the CeleMines, I don’t see a horse race. With the ease of overclocking the Duron (as long as it continues), I would be hard pressed to recommend a CeleMine system on a straight-up basis.

The key constraint right now is motherboard availability and pricing – as good as the ASUS A7V is, I can’t tell you that it is 100% stable in all situations (buying “rev 1.0” hardware is always an adventure) . We will be living with these boards for a while and report periodically.

Email Joe


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